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AM News: House Republicans Try To Reclaim Education Issue

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Republicans Want to Talk Education, but Will They Fund It? The GOP's response to President Obama's income-inequity message is to push job-training and education proposals. But first, Republicans in Congress would have to agree to do something more than talk about it. They may even have to cough up some money for it. 

Eric Cantor and Bill de Blasio exchange fire over schools Washington Post: Calling school choice the best route out of poverty, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor took aim at New York City’s new mayor on Wednesday for his cooler stance toward public charter schools and warned that Republicans may hold congressional hearings on the education policies of Democrat Bill de Blasio’s administration.

What Exactly Do Obama's Zones Have to Do With Education, Anyway? Politics K12: So far, nonprofits in at least three of the five Promise Zones actually already have Promise Neighborhood Implementation grants. And at least one has a "planning" grant. So it's unclear what the new designation will really mean for future competitions.  

City Study Tracks Transfers by Charter School Students NYT: Pupils are not more likely to leave charter schools than their counterparts at traditional public schools, but that is not the case for special education students, a study found.

Report: More Special Need Students Leave Charters Than District Schools WNYC: Students who enroll in charter schools for kindergarten are more likely to stay through third grade than students at traditional New York City public schools, according to the Independent Budget Office, with one exception: special education pupils.

Jerry Brown Proposes A New Budget For California NPR: California Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget proposal that calls for a $1.9 billion rainy day fund, cuts to the prison population and some funds restored to the state's higher education system. However, state workers hoping to see more in their pension funds will be disappointed.

More news below and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso

Students Of Color Don't Apply To Top Schools, But They Should NPR: Deadlines to apply for colleges are coming up - and some experts say a lot of qualified minority students won't be applying to the top schools. Host Michel Martin speaks with Donald Fraser, Jr., of CollegeSnapps, Inc. and Caroline Hoxby, an economist at Stanford University about why some students of color aren't trying to get into prestigious schools.

Our Kids, Our Future Bloomberg EDU: In one of his last interviews before disappearing to write his next book, Harvard's Robert Putnam talks about the "opportunity gap" in the United States that deals with today's class divide and lack of social mobility. 

Arne Duncan Takes Over BuzzFeed With a Whole Slew of FAFSA GIFs In The Capital:  Free Application for Federal Student Aid may not sound like such an exciting form to file, but with the help of a confident Barney Simpson, a kitty that loves change and the always sassy Rebel Wilson, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was..

Los Angeles Tries A New Approach To Discipline In Schools NPR: Zero-tolerance policies in public schools around the country have been criticized for prompting unnecessary suspensions and premature incarcerations. The Los Angeles Unified School Police is trying a new approach.

Los Angeles library to offer high school diplomas AP: A Los Angeles library plans to take its role as a place of learning a step farther and will start offering residents the opportunity to get an accredited high school diploma....

Chicago Catholic archdiocese to close 6 schools WBEZ Chicago: Officials of Our Lady of Victory School in Chicago say they were notified the school will be closed unless it can eliminate the need for nearly $400,000 in yearly grants from the archdiocese. Last year, a funding deficit forced the closing of five Catholic schools.

School Board Official Resigns After Making Controversial Newtown Ammunition Comment HuffPost: A school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has resigned amid an outcry over his comment that he would observe the Newtown massacre's anniversary by distributing ammunition.

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The U.S. Senate is the congressional body that has failed to relieve America's schools from the mistake that was (and is) No Child Left Behind, so it is no surprise that Republicans like Majority Leader Cantor are now moving in the direction of an escape hatch (vouchers) from the overly restrictive oversight of the federal Department of Education. This may prove a national trend throughout 2014, as many of us who voted for President Obama become ever more disillusioned with his administration's inability to make a significant difference in the lives of so many who continue to suffer. Looking to the Republicans for leadership may seem improbable, but with the Democrats now being the party dedicated to staying an ineffective course, people in desperation will look around for alternatives wherever they can find them, and freedom from Washington, D.C. is apt to sound attractive right now.

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